Tuesday, 3 April 2012

(Day 26) Charity ends on the streets

Tuesday 27th March (Day 26)

Today was another day of work, the morning started off okay but Joanna my boss showed up in the afternoon.  She wanted me to pitch her to see how my pitch was developing and to find out why I hadn’t managed to signed anyone up yet.  It is always hard to act natural whilst you are pitching some you know who is pretending to be a “normal person”.  It is even harder when you know that person will be judging you on everything from body language to every word that comes out of your mouth.

I generally did the pitch well this time but I came apart when it came to the close and concern handling.  The concern handling is basically when the person you are pitching says they can’t signup and you have to try and convince them otherwise.  I absolutely hate doing this which is why I am terrible at doing it.  I just feel like I am twisting there arm into doing something they don’t want to do.  I see myself as a generally light easy going guy and making people do things they don’t want to do is just not in my personality at all.

Joanna said overall my pitch was good and I was improving very well, but she also said that if I finished today with no signups I should drop by the office after work with all my stuff (charity tee-shirt, paper work, clipboard and ID badge).  Basically it sounded like if I didn’t get any signups I was going to get fired.

In fairness Joanna is a very nice woman but as my boss she is target driven and I felt like I was not performing as she wanted.

After a few hours of hard work I managed to speak to a fair number of people but again no sign ups.  By this point Mina was working with me to try and get a sign up for me but this didn’t really help.  I stopped for a second to watch her work and that girl is just a little fundraising machine.  There is nothing special about her as such; she is so short that most people probably don’t even notice her at first.  But she is such a machine; she never stops talking to people.   She is constantly going from one person to the next.  Another one of her great abilities is her ability to isolate someone from a crowd.  Usually when people are on their own and they see fundraisers they walk closely to groups of other people they don’t know in order to hide.  But this doesn’t work with Mina.  Her ability to pluck people from crowds is just awesome.
With the words from Joanna ringing in my head and seeing busy body Mina work the only way she knows (at all capacity) I realized something.  I was shit at this job.  It was like I almost woke up, I am an engineer not a fundraiser.  I can’t do this.  I approached Mina and told her that I had decided that fundraising wasn’t for me.

She was very nice and said that she was sorry to see me go and that I had been a pleasure to work with.  She also said I had a lot of potential to be a great fundraiser.  I told her that I thought I had potential, but there are other people who will pick up this job and become better at it faster than me.

I just sat down and took of my charity tee-shirt.  Overall I felt terrible; I have failed.  I thought I could do this but the truth is; I can’t.

I had to go back to the office to hand in my stuff and to have an “exit interview”.  Overall the exit interview was actually quite good.  The woman I spoke to was very nice and she just asked me a few questions.  One of the questions she asked me was what could the company do better?  I said that I felt underprepared when I went out on the streets and that 2 trainings days would have been a lot better.  She agreed with me and said that a lot of people had said that.  This made me feel slightly better.

On the walk home I was thinking about all the engineering jobs I was going to apply for.  I was excited about the idea of getting back into engineering, but then something happened.  Something that changed everything...

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